Here are the reaction statements from U.S. Representatives from the WSFA 12 News viewing area. Their reactions come as the farm bill, known as the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act of 2013, failed in the U.S. House.
The 5-year, $500 billion bill, would have cut $2 billion annually from food stamps and would have allowed states the ability to impose new work requirements on those who receive them.
The vote was 234-195 with 62 Republicans voting against the legislation. Some 24 Democrats voted yes for the measure.
All six Republican representatives from Alabama voted yes, while the single Democrat voted no.
Representative Martha Roby (R - District 2)
"The spenders won. They dodged a major reform to the unrestrained government spending policies left over from the Pelosi Congress," Rep. Roby said. "For more than two years we've been working on a new Farm Bill that would meet this country's agricultural and economic needs while enacting long-needed reforms to farm and food stamp policy. While not perfect, the Farm Bill that died today represents a missed opportunity to save taxpayers $40 billion through responsible improvements to current law.
"Now, with no Farm Bill, costly programs like food stamps will continue with no savings at all, and that's a shame. "
Representative Mike Rogers (R- District 3)
"I was deeply disappointed the Farm Bill failed the House of Representatives today. Although not a perfect bill, it would cut spending by $40 billion, reform the flawed Food Stamp program and provide certainty to American farmers, ranchers and rural citizens."
Representative Terry Sewell (D- District 7):
"While I am supportive of a five year farm bill extension, I voted against H.R. 1947 today because this bill did not strike the balance needed to protect the farmers in my district as well as those in Alabama who depend on nutrition assistance. This bill would have had devastating consequences for more than 913,000 families in Alabama who depend on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP has saved millions of lives and currently provides essential support to over 160,000 individuals in my district in Alabama alone.
This bill would have cut SNAP benefits by more than $20 billion over the next decade, leaving more than 2 million low-income people without food assistance and over 210,000 low-income children without access to their free school meals. It is unconscionable that we attempt to balance the deficit on the backs of low-income seniors, people with disabilities and working-poor families who depend on SNAP.
I understand the urgent necessity to pass a farm bill that will ensure the certainty and safety net that Alabama farmers and growers desperately need to grow America's produce. That is why I look forward to working with my colleagues to strike the right balance between the needs of food consumers and the needs of food producers."
Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive